Our Perspective

      • Has Africa’s economic growth performance passed the turning point?

        21 May 2014

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        UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative in Rwanda, Mr. Lamin Manneh.

        IN RECENT years, analysis and discussions of Africa’s economic growth performance has tended to occupy centre stage in the various news headlines during the annual meetings of the major international development and financial institutions and organizations and it will certainly be prominent during the imminent 2014 Annual Meeting of the AfDB Group in Kigali in May 2014. A common narrative that has taken shape in all these meetings and associated reports is that Africa’s current growth episode, which started in the second half of the 1990s, has been remarkable as it has been uninterrupted for close to a decade and a half. Why this obsession with economic growth when probably we ought to be more concerned with poverty reduction and equitable distribution of the wealth of nations? The simple answer is that though in itself, economic growth does not necessarily impact positively the welfare of large sections of populations (which underpins UNDP’s Human Development Concept), it is essential for meaningful poverty reduction, if “certain conditions” are met.   The question or concern as to whether the continent’s growth performance has reached or passed the turning point is related to two considerations: the first is the sustainability of this positive growth trajectory,Read More

      • Dignity and human rights lie at the heart of our work

        07 Apr 2014

        By: Lamin Manneh, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Rwanda Today, the world is joining Rwanda, now a thriving country, to mark the twentieth commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi. Sadly, the United Nations system and the world couldn’t stop the events unfolding on the ground. Worse, the United Nations could not even save many of its national staff. The consequences of failing to heed the warning signs of the genocide are forever engraved in our minds.  The United Nations and the international system are better prepared to anticipate, prevent, respond to crises and protect their staff. In addition, the world now has important mechanisms to end impunity, including the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, large scale human tragedies are still happening. As we speak, millions are being affected in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, for instance. This is one the reason why UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon launched the “Rights up Front” Action Plan.  In essence, the Rights up Front Action Plan seeks to strengthen the United Nations’ ability to prevent large-scale violations of human rights, particularly in conflict situations. The plan is framed by several guiding concepts: First,Read More

      • International Day of Peace / Lamin Manneh (Op-Ed)

        21 Sep 2013

        The international community celebrated on September 21st 2013 the “International Day of Peace, 2013”, with the theme “Education for Peace”. This year’s celebrations took place against the backdrop of continuing violence in countries like Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Colombia, Egypt, Central African Republic or renewed fighting in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Philippines, which have resulted in several millions of people fleeing their homes and thousands being killed in unimaginable brutal ways. Senseless and sometimes random terrorist attacks, that are often planned to inflict maximum casualties among innocent people, also constitute a significant threat to personal and national security across the world. The latter is vividly illustrated by the one more terrorist attack that Kenya suffered recently at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, which has resulted in over 70 deaths, many of them innocent women and children. This year’s celebration of the International Day of Peace, therefore, sends a sharp reminder that the global community has to be not only aware of the necessity of peace but also the imperative for active engagement in practices and efforts for conflict prevention and peace building. In most cases, attaining durable stability or ensuring conflict prevention cannot be done passivelyRead More